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Learn English: Cricket slang

Next to cricket stumps
In cricket, a player protects the stumps by hitting the ball with a bat.

Supplied: Cricket Australia

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Don’t be stumped by cricket terms that have become a part of everyday English in Australia. Read on to learn more!

In cricket, a ‘stump’ refers to each of the three upright sticks you see during a cricket match.

You can also use ‘stump’ as a verb. In this case, it means to be surprised to the point that you are not sure what to do.

“The English exam was so difficult. I was stumped.”

‘Pull up stumps’ refers to when you stop doing something for the day.

“Let’s pull up stumps. It’s been a long day.”

Cricket
'Carried the bat' is a cricket term that's a part of everyday English.

Flickr CC: Joe Hayhurst


A batsman who was able to play throughout the game and was not dismissed, is known to have ‘carried the bat’.

"They carried the bat for the team. That is why the whole project was a success.”

If you want to talk about someone who is playing really well, we say they are a ‘gun’.

“She's a gun. She is really good!”  

If a person is not very skilled as a player, we might sometimes say they are a ‘hack’.

“He is a bit of a hack. He needs a bit more training before he can play for the team.”

‘Sticky wicket’ refers to a pitch that has been drying after rain and is difficult to bat on. When you are talking about a tricky or awkward situation, you can say it is a ‘sticky wicket’.

To ‘slog’ means to try and hit the ball so hard that it goes over the field and reaches the boundary.

In everyday English, to ‘slog’ means to work very hard.

“It was a hard slog to meet the tight deadline.”

Cricket
'Good innings' is also a cricket term that is used in everyday English.

Flickr CC: Mushu 2011

If a player has had ‘a good innings’, it means they have scored a lot of runs during a game. This phrase can also be used to refer to a long and fulfilling life or career.

“My father has had a good innings. He has decided to retire this month.”

You can also say they have had ‘a good run’ which means they have been successful for a long period of time.

“You’ve had a good run with this company. It’s time you take a well-deserved break!”

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